A few of the challenges of building and repairing structures or homes is that you must always be aware of moisture. Water entering the building in areas where it is not desired can result in rotting wood, mold, chipped paint, and other significant damage. A simple leak could cause thousands of dollars in damage if not dealt with effectively. As a result, prevention is essential for protecting buildings from the devastation that moisture can cause.
However, a damaged roof and leaking pipes aren’t the only ways for moisture to enter your home. It can also enter from the ground up, causing damage that owners may not notice until it’s too late. Fortunately, a vapor barrier can be used to prevent this damage from occuring underneath your home.
A vapor barrier is a plastic liner that sits on top of your crawl space’s dirt floor to prevent moisture and vapor in the soil from entering your crawl space. A tidy, sealed crawl space with a quality vapor barrier can protect your home, eliminate odors, deter mold growth, improve indoor air quality, preventing rodent and insect infestation and even reduce latent load on your HVAC system. Read below to learn more about crawl space vapor barriers.
Crawl Space Vapor Barrier Installation Process
Our waterproofing team takes the following steps for vapor barrier installation in all crawl spaces:
Step 1: Build good drainage around your home to prevent rainwater from seeping under it. Grading the soil away from your home at a distance of about 1/2 inch per foot is usually the most effective way to reduce crawl space moisture.
Step 2: A plastic moisture polyethylene vapor barrier should be placed over the dirt crawl space. Tape any seams that overlap. And then bring the plastic about 6 inches straight upward into the wall and secure it there. To keep the plastic in place, use landscape fabric holdings.
Step 3: Apply 1 1/2 inches of rigid, moisture-proof insulation to exposed foundation walls. This also insulates the walls and prevents rising dampness from entering the crawlspace.
Step 4: Insulate rim joists with rigid insulation and caulk it in place to prevent air leaks.
Step 5: Cover the interior of the foundation wall with a 6-mil layer of plastic and galvanized flashing to block moisture.
See this Moisture Barrier Installation.
Moisture in Crawl Spaces can Cause Damage
Several people do not give much attention to the space underneath a building. They may store tools, decorations, and random odds and ends in the crawl spaces, but the crawl space is frequently overlooked until they need to retrieve those items.
Crawl spaces generally have dirt floors, making them prime culprits for moisture entering commercial building. This is because moisture infiltration from the soil, in the form of water vapor, can slowly erode your structure from the ground up if not contained. So, we’re talking about structural damage, electrical shorts, pipe erosion, insulation, and fiberglass deterioration. Not to mention the possibility of allergens (such as mold spores and dust mite droppings) entering your home.
Crawl Space Protection with Vapor Barrier
Crawl space vapor barriers are durable protective layers that prevent water vapor from accessing the crawl space. When a crawl space vapor barrier is coupled with a waterproofing system, you have the utmost moisture protection of the crawl space from liquid water and water vapor before it has an opportunity to enter your building or home.
When You Should Consider Crawl Space Vapor Barriers
Crawl space vapor barrier installation is an excellent waterproofing solution in Huntersville, NC. If you suspect your crawl space is leaking, look for the following signs:
LOW CRAWL SPACE TEMPERATURE
As water accumulates in your crawl space, the temperature will begin to fall. Keeping a thermometer at the doorway is the best way to monitor the temperature of your crawl space. If the temperature starts to fall after the rain has passed, take note of a leak.
While you shouldn’t rely on your possessions to determine whether or not you have a leak, they are frequently the most reliable indicator of the leak’s existence and severity. If your paper items are curling at the periphery of your wooden items are warping, they are also few, to name.
Like insects and animals, water can find its way into your home. So keep a watch on the infestation. This can include droppings, nests, or damage to your property. Regrettably, if you have a crawl space infestation, you will have to deal with both the infestation and the leak before installing a vapor barrier in Huntersville, NC.
PRESENCE OF MOLD
When water seeps into your crawl space, it will feed any dormant mold particles that have settled there. Therefore, a leaking crawl space can cause an old-growth burst. Then, go down into your crawl space and note any mold clusters you find near the joints. Before waterproofing the rest of the area, you should remove the clusters.
Taking a good sniff of your crawl space will usually tell you whether or not it is leaking. Your crawl space should not smell damp after a rainstorm or on an average day. If it does, you may be dealing with a leak. You should also contact a waterproofing contractor if you regularly notice a rotting odor coming from your crawl space. It could result from an infestation, rotting belongings, or something else.
Contact HydroHelp911 for Crawl Space Vapor Barrier Installation
Our team of waterproofing experts have extensive knowledge about crawl space vapor barrier installation through years of experience in the industry. We offer free crawl space evaluations. One of our experienced project managers will inspect your home and recommend the best plan of action to protect your place and keep it strong and healthy for years ahead.
If you live in Huntersville, NC, contact us today or give us a call at 704-741-9737.
In humid climates like in North Carolina, moisture is an incredibly common issue. If you live in Huntersville, NC, we highly recommend waterproofing your crawl space.
We do not recommend the installation of an exhaust fan for homeowners in Huntersville, NC. Our team has found that often times crawl space ventilation fans provide additional opportunities for moisture to enter your crawl space. While the vent may be blowing out, humid air from outside is also being pulled into your crawl space. Instead we recommend sealing your crawl space and installing a dehumidifier to ensure it remains moisture free.
Odors are one of the most challenging things to predict or identify the source of. We sometimes notice a strong odor after installing a vapor barrier in a small percentage (less than 5%) of homes. It’s impossible to anticipate which homes will be affected, but the odor is caused by microbes that live in the soil. When the crawlspace is sealed, such microbes end up dying and begin to decay beneath the vapor barrier, and this odor can enter the crawl space in some homes. This odor may be temporary in some cases, but it may be more chronic in others.